In November, commercial marine brokers Marcon International Inc. reported that there were 475 tugs officially on the market for sale out of 5,221 tracked.

According to Marcon's Tug Market Report November 2021, this represents almost a 23% decline from last year and a 27.5% dip from five years ago.

Marcon said it closed 10 sales and one charter in 2021. Many of these 2020 deals were "well in the works" before the Covid-19 situation developed and oil prices crashed, the company said.

Throughout most of 2020 and early 2021, the market was extremely slow both domestically and internationally.

Marcon said it continues to see an increase in inquiries and inspections and have multiple sales currently pending as business rebounds. With the current pace of business, the company said it hopes to return to pre-Covid sales levels in 2022.

"There remains uncertainty in the market, but prices have been moving up for various classes of vessels and barges. This is likely the result of both increased demand, as well as increased replacement cost due to inflation," Marcon said.